October 8 - 12, Fort Robinson State Park, near Crawford, Nebraska

By Bonnie Hidalgo (with some final additions by T Haines)

Fort Robinson State Park at Crawford, Nebraska was the site for the American Pointer Club National Field Trial for the third year in a row. This beautiful State Park is steeped in history that dates to fur trading, Indian wars and the Calvary.

The park’s potential as a trial venue was discovered in the spring of 2003. The Colorado Pointer Club was the first to hold a Field Trial here, with an AKC Licensed trial in September of 2003. It was held as a "trial" run for the APC Nationals which were first held here in 2004.

The grounds are excellent for bird dogs. They have enough variety to showcase dogs in different types of cover. It ranges from tree lines to hills and valleys to wide open Sharp-tail grouse habitat. There were several coveys of grouse moved during the course of the event.

The State Park offers lodging and food service at reasonable rates. There are wonderful stables left over from the Calvary remount days. The Mare Barn Complex is the headquarters for the trial. This consists of a "U" shaped barn of 60 box stalls. In the center is the "annex" which is where the morning and noon meals were served. Its shelter was really appreciated during the periods of inclement weather that occurred during the event.

The Nationals began with an Open Puppy Classic on Sunday October 8. There were 9 entries. First place went to Hideaway’s Southern Swing owned by Greg Garner and handled by Ben Garcia. No Limit Blanca took second for owner-handler Jim Schultz. Third place was Damage Control handled by Ben Garcia for owner Frank Musemici. Fourth place went to No Limit Deuce owned and handled by Jim Schultz. These puppies were placed on quality of race. The judges stated that it was an excellent crop of young pointers.

The National Championship began promptly at 8 am on Monday October 9. There were 22 entries with 19 starters. Judges for this high quality stake were Dan Taylor of Utah and Greg Sands of Hill City, KS. They did an excellent job of watching and their decisions were well received.

The National Championship concluded on Tuesday afternoon. The newly crowned Champion is FourJ Check Raise owned and handled by Jim Schultz of Flagstaff, AZ. Traveler appeared in the third brace of the Championship. He backed his brace mate at 11 with good manners. Traveler had a non productive at 16. At 24 he pointed with excellent style; relocation was necessary and he did so admirably. He scored a second stylish find at 29 with all in order. He had a third find at 35, again displaying superb style and manners. Traveler’s fourth and final find came at 53. Relocation was needed but he completed the work cleanly. His race was consistent from start to finish at an attractive gun dog range.

Runner-up went to Hideaway’s Tall Boy, owned by Greg Garner and handled by Ben Garcia. Tommy appeared in the first brace on Tuesday morning. He ran big to the front, handling well and hunting smart. His one find came at the lake at 31. His style and manners were excellent. The latter part of his race was not quite as strong as the first half.

Third place was FC Shoulda Known Better, owned and handled by Tom Maneely. Bet appeared in the fourth brace. She scored on quail with style at 15. She had excellent finds at 32 and 42. Her race was good, forward for the most part. On a couple occasions she was hard to handle which kept her from placing higher.

Fourth place went to Eshod’s Thunder, handled by Ray Dohse for Carl Reynolds. "Tom" appeared in brace 8, the second of Tuesday morning. Tom pointed at 5 but a long relocation netted no game. His handler had respiratory problems, so Tom was taken on by scout, Steve Bailey until Dohse recovered at 29. Tom handled kindly for Bailey though perhaps ran a bit closer. At 27, Tom’s brace mate was on point and Tom was cautioned by that dog’s handler before Tom could see the pointing dog. He stood with such high style that Bailey thought he was on point. After some discussion as to what the situation was, Tom was taken on. Dohse felt recovered from his respiratory episode so he elected to resume handling. Tom pointed with great style at 48; birds were flushed with all in order. He pointed again at 56, again with superb style and manners.

There were two JAM’s awarded. The first named went to Frank N Stein owned and handled by 16 year old Bridget Bailey. Frankie scored finds at 10, 13, 18, 24, 26 and 31. Most of his bird work was very nice but a step here and there cost him. His race was quality gun dog type for the majority. He looked for direction in the final part of the hour. Pete Moss also was awarded a JAM. Pete is owned by Judith Hamilton and was handled by Ben Garcia. Pete ran a good gun dog race with clean finds at 10, 32, and 36. Both JAM’s were being carried for placement at the end of the first day’s running.

Trial Chairman Jack Haines did a wonderful job of organizing and advertising the event. Jack drove the dog wagon for the majority of the event. Tracy Haines served as Field Trial Secretary. Lending help for the myriad duties that come with the running of a field trial were Steve Bailey, Mark and Sandy Devos, Ben Garcia, Rex Roberts, Angela Schillereff, Deb Freidus, Tracy Black, Susan Bleckley, Renee Thurber, Andi Christiansen and Serafin Barayazarra. Serafin fixed an excellent BBQ dinner of lamb and pork for Sunday’s evening meal.

A banquet was held at the main Lodge restaurant on Tuesday evening. Jack Haines announced the National Championship placements. A fund raising raffle and auction was held. Dennis Hidalgo served as auctioneer.

The National Championship Running:

No Body’s Angel ( Roberts) - Wild Card’s Megan ( Schultz)

Angel had a big, forward race but no birds. Megan was fast forward from the break but was lost before the lake.

CH Blackthorne Matrix (Garcia) - Tian River Man ( Devos)

Trixie pointed birds at 13, 32 and 43. She showed good nose at 32 as she had them winded from a long distance. Her manners on all three finds were impeccable. She backed politely at 52. Her race was at good hunting range with a quartering pattern. Ziggy also scored three finds and a back. On one of his finds his handler relocated him into birds, he stopped at the flush. His race was strong and some of his moves put him behind. He swam the lake to return to the front around the halfway mark.

FC Loose Lady (Garcia) - FourJ Check Raise (Schultz)

Loosey pointed at 11 with Traveler backing. Loosey broke at the shot and was picked up. FourJ Check Raise’s championship winning performance was described above.

Henry’s Monster Costello (Garcia) - FC Shoulda Known Better ( Maneely)

"Lou" went with a bird at 5. Shoulda Known Better, AKA "Bet" placed third in this Championship and her hour was previously described.

Attaboy (O’Donnell) - Frank N Stein (Bridget Bailey)

Frankie’s performance is listed earlier. Attaboy backed at 15 and 20. He pointed nicely on a hillside at 29 but went with the flush and was picked up.

Hideaway’s Tall Boy ( Garcia) - Maximum Go ( Roberts)

Tall Boy’s (AKA Tommy) performance gained him runner-up honors and is described earlier. Max turned in a consistent, predominantly forward all age performance with one long absence. He pointed once during the hour but it was one unproductive.

Eshod’s Thunder ( Dohse) - Tian’s Mr. Spock (Haines)

Tom’s placing performance is listed above. Spock had his first find at 14, he pointed, moved off and came back to point, birds were flushed in front of him. At 19 he appeared with a bird in his mouth but as the circumstance was not seen he was left on the ground. He had good finds at 29, 44 and 51. His race was forward in application.

Tony’s Red Neck Bear (O’Donnell) - CH Paladen Thru the Garden Gate CGC MH CDX (Kahn)

Bear scored an impressive find at 13 in heavy cover. He pointed again at 29 with all in order and excellent style and intensity. He backed at 33, near the lake. The birds flushed wild and Bear went with them. Lily made some nice moves. She had one mannerly find and two non- productive stands.

The National Derby Classic began on Wednesday morning; conditions were anything but pleasant with rain and snow falling throughout the day. Judges for this stake were Alan Davison of Hudson, WI and Richard Murphy of Connecticut.

In first place was Hideaway’s Tall Boy, fresh off his second place win in the National Championship. Tommy was again handled by Ben Garcia. His race showed maturity beyond his age, he was forward reaching. His initial moves were on the edge but his handle soon improved. Tommy had one polished find. He pointed again at time but the birds had just been flushed by his brace mate moments before.

Second place went to Miss Firecracker owned by Mark Devos and handled by Steve Bailey. Abbey gave a good forward performance with mature hunting initiative. She had one classy broke find and a strong finish.

Third place was Just Wait Bess. She scored finished finds at 17 and 25; showing good style on each. Her race was shorter and less mature than the first two placements. Bess is owned by Jack Haines and was handled by Ben Garcia.

Fourth place went to Willy’s Sam I Am owned and handled by Serafin Barayazzara. Sam scored a nice, finished find at12. Her race was inconsistent in direction and range. She handled with more difficulty than the other three.

The National Amateur Championship commenced after lunch on Wednesday with Judges Alan Davison and Richard Murphy presiding. There were 18 entries. The stake had some excellent performances and concluded on Thursday afternoon.

The winner emerged in FC Shoulda Known Better, owned and handled by Tom Maneely . Bet ran with purpose for the entire hour; only stopping to point game. She hit all the likely objectives and ran the course as perfectly as it could have been run. She had a wonderful find at 25, near the lake. Her second find came at 35 just before the creek. Her third and final find came in bird alley at 45. Her ground performance had perfect flow; she finished strong and forward.

Second in the National Amateur went to the winner of the National Championship, FourJ Check Raise, AKA Traveler, owned and handled by Jim Schultz. Traveler was found to the front on point at 16. He stood with high style. He had additional finds at 20 and 23. All birds were well located and handled with class. Traveler hunted smart and forward. He finished going away.

Tian’s Mr. Spock, owned by Jack and Tracy Haines was handled by Jack to third. He was found standing on point at 7. He was forward on point again at 23; this was a second stellar piece of bird work. He ran a good race.

Fourth place was Tornado Joe owned by Sandy Devos and handled by Mark Devos. Joe pointed at 14 but it was a barren stand. At 26, he pointed again. This time it was a nice find with good style. He had a stop to flush near the lake at 30. Joe’s race got stronger as the hour progressed.

A special award for the highest placing youth handler during the running of the 2006 National Field Championship competition was donated by Robin Boa, of Colorado. The award was a Shotgun donated in memory of Dale Gummersall and Buck Irwin, who were both avid field trialers, sportsmen and mentors to young – and old, locally and nationally. One of their goals was to encourage youth participation, which is why the Robin donated the Shotgun for this award in their names . Bridget Bailey was the recipient of this award due to her performance as recorded in the Open Championship with Frank N’Stein. This year we had 4 new young participants and hope to raise that number each year.

The American Pointer Club wishes to thank all of its sponsors for their generous support. Donations were numerous but the biggest sponsorships were from Purina, DT Systems, Inc; Tri-Tronics, Tracker, and Christie Enterprises.

The 2006 American Pointer Club Nationals was a big success; with many fine entries from which the winners were selected. The quality of performance at this event, in all stakes, showed a marked improvement. This championship is gaining in prestige and rightfully so. The centralized, quality venue at Fort Robinson has aided in that progress. The Championship’s numbers grew both in the numbers of participants and the number of attendants.

Others with generous donations include: Steve & Lisa Bailey, Serafin Barayazarra, Tracy Black, Robin Bow, Judy & Paul Vilwock, Andi Christensen, Colorado Pointer Club, Debra Freidus DVM, Ben & Amanda Garcia, Jack Haines, Judith Hamilton, David Heller (Ross Reels) William & Dr June Johnston, Patty Lillesand, Marjorie Martorella, Joan & Jum McCormick, Dolores McCosker-Allsworth, Jamie & Pat O’Donnell (PSG), Pointer Association of New England, Pointer Club of Central New Jersey, Maggie Platt, Tim & Angela Schillereff, Howard & Karen Spey, Michael Taxioli, Renee Thurber, David Towner & Judy Wright.

The geographical representation of those in attendence also grew, with 3 states represented from the East Coast, and 2 from the West Coast, with 11 more states scattered from the heartland of the country.

Anytime you can come to a AKC Pointer National Championship, whether or not you are running a dog, or just coming to observe, you will enjoy the camaraderie and the competition of the Pointers we all love.

Results of the APC Trial run prior to the National Championship:

OPEN PUPPY - 10 starters - 9 Pointer, 1 Brittany

1st- Hideaway’s Southern Swing - Pointer, handled by Ben Garcia, owner Greg Garner
2nd-Damage Control - Pointer, handled by Ben Garcia, owner Frank Muscumeci
3rd-Wayne - Pointer, owned & handled by Taylor Shaw
4th-Agawaatese - Pointer, handled by Steve Bailey, owned by Spero Manson

OPEN DERBY - 15 starters - 7 Pointers, 3 GSP, 1 Eng Setter, 3 Brittany, 1 Vizsla

1st-Eshod Revolution - GSP
2nd-Hideaway’s Tall Boy - Pointer, handled by Ben Garcia, owner Greg Garner
3rd-Anazira’s Full of Brandi Brice - GSP
4th-Trinity’s Cottin Gin Shooter - Vizsla

OPEN GUN DOG - 22 starters - 8 Pointers, 7 GSP, 3 Eng Setters, 1 Irish Setter, 3 Brittanys

1st-Frank N’Stein - Pointer, owned and handled by Bridget Bailey
2nd-Trinity’s Razzel Dazzle - Eng Setter
3rd-Windtuck’s Enough Said - Brittany
4th-Wild Card’s Megan - Pointer, owned and handled by James Schultz

OPEN ALL-AGE - 11 starters - 5 Pointers, 2 GSP, 2 Irish Setters, 2 English Setters

1st- Hideaway’s Tall Boy - Pointer, handled by Ben Garcia, owner Greg Garner
2nd-Travelers Prairie Run - Eng Setter
3rd-FC/AFC Iskote Ani-Mosh - Irish Setter
4th-Georgia Wildfire - Irish Setter